International design competition

‘Begonia Bay’ – one of the five big bays of Sanya with almost 43 km beach length in the southeast of Hainan Island – has been developed as major international tourism destination since 2006.

In the following decade, more than thirty five-star resort hotels opened; such a high density of luxurious hotels is rare in the world. The whole district is a top location alongside mountain and sea – with pure white sand beaches.

The complex, mixed-use planning is distributed among 5 plots:

Sanya Haitang Bay, Hainan Island / China
Tianjin Pharmaceutical Group / Tianjin Yongjin Real Estate Co.
Planning area
59.2 ha (five plots)
Gross Floor Area
260,000 m² (plus 29,200m² underground)
2 five star hotels 42,700m² / Holiday villas 42,300 m² / Retail, F&B 24,500 m² / Resettlement housing 82,100 m² / Resettle-ment commercial areas 62,900 m² / Education 5,500m²
‘Darentang Resort Village’ (Plots A+B): The two biggest …
  • ‘Darentang Resort Village’ (Plots A+B): The two biggest plots stretching along the beach host a five star resort village with two hotel buildings ( tot. 416 keys) and 161 holiday villas in five different sizes from 99 to 476 m². The two plots are separated along a green promenade leading to the beach.
  • Commercial Service Centre (plot C): It takes the remaining part of the beach, with outdoor covered public facilities that also serve the seaside resort, including the functions of swimming, diving, and other water activities, restaurants, bars, shops, and parking facilities.
  • ‘Houhai Fisher Area’ (plot D): The existing fisher area along the mouth of ‘Tielugang’ side-bay is providing convenience for fishing business, typhoon shelter, and floating seafood restaurants, but currently in a mass and in bad conditions. After planning and design, the plot will become a scenic spot for tourists to experience life and work of fishermen; tourists are planned to have original, ecological seafood in rows of typical local fishermen’s boats, meanwhile the Houhai villagers have the opportunity to get a catering business with independent property right. They can rent out or transfer their houses/boats.
  • ‘Houhai Fascinating Town’ (plot E): A resettlement area for the locally removed residents called has been planned, with tot. 362 houses, educational facilities and commercial areas to provide an additional source of income for the residents.

As opposed to the busier ‘Yalong Bay’, ‘Begonia Bay’ has been reserved as an alternate land for urban development, featuring beautiful scenery, the absence of urban noise, and an excellent location regarding overall resources and environment.
Located at the main point of Haitang Bay, the so-called “Houhai Golden Bay”, the planned resort’s health program has been selected by the municipal government from worldwide top Chinese medicine health-preserving resort projects.
As seaside tourist city, Sanya has a large concentration of leisure resorts, but few health-themed ones. The planning concept makes use of the advantageous environmental resources in order to create a competitive property with healthy leisure experience for people.

The five star hotels will be managed by a professional Chinese Medicine team of the investing Tianjin Medicine Group. Hotel functions include guest rooms mainly for high-end customers to spend vacations, providing medical baths, healthy sleep, etc., Chinese restaurants serving herbal cuisine etc., and a spacious SPA including health diagnosis and treatment area, acupuncture moxibustion, medication area, and massage area.

Both in East and West, humans have always been committed to the pursuit of harmonious relations between themselves and their natural environment and developed their distinct theories about the connection between both. China has a long cultural history of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice and health treatments. This Eastern wisdom is unique, broad and profound. Chinese medicine stresses the concept of the whole, with a dialectical attitude towards the human body itself and the balance between man and nature. Chinese medical scientists are working to find the link between body and nature. Whether in the medical or in the architectural field, ancient peoples have developed vast experience in research and practice.
Chinese medicine theories of “organic naturalism” have developed a concept of “Heaven and Man” that fits well with the desire of people to pursuit a healthy life-style.

Combining the existing environmental advantages with an overall planning strategy, the design considers health and leisure together, and combines human activities with natural scenery. Two guidelines have been developed: The functional planning proposes an integrated industry with vacation, leisure, wellness and medical treatment functions. Secondly, regarding the landscape planning, TCM health elements have been integrated, whereas the landscape fully serves recreational functions and uses the splendid natural scenery.

Scope of services
Conceptual urban planning, building design & landscape design
Design team
Li Ran, Rudolf Henseli, Mario Grgic, André Westendorf, Xiong Yan, Joana Sampaio, Chen Yuzhen, Zhang Xin, Rita Lourenço, Li Pengyong, Yu Jing